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Responsible management of Western forests positively impacts not only forest ecosystems, but people, communities and entire economies.

The West has experienced significant population growth over the past 60 years.

As the population increases and human development stretches from cities into rural areas, Western and Pacific island forests — and the many resources they provide — are impacted.

Human development in what were once rural areas has led to forest fragmentation and higher costs for wildfire protection and management in the resulting wildland-urban interface.

As large, contiguous forested areas are fragmented into smaller pieces of forest -- typically by roads, agriculture or other human development -- forest health suffers.

The effects of forest fragmentation include:

  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Increased prevalence of invasive plants, pests and pathogens
  • Reduction in water quality

As the population grows across the West, CWSF supports smart growth and a green infrastructure approach to development that integrates trees, forests, parks and open spaces for the benefit of residents and the local ecology.

Responsible and proactive forest management results in resilient  forests, which provide jobs and other social and recreation benefits for communities across the West.